Special Representative Reta Jo Lewis for Global Intergovernmental Affairs today said the U.S. Department of State is committed to foster and leverage connections at the state and local level to assist nations making the transition from conflict to stability.
In her remarks at Transitioning from Conflict & Disaster to Stability & Security 7th Annual Peacekeeping, Reconstruction, & Stabilization Conference, Ms. Lewis commended the “whole of government” approach to the event.
“Today, the world faces a unique set of challengesa'”economic, environmental, social, and political that will require collaborative innovation and determination of our world’s best minds.” -Ms. Lewis
She cites that a lot has happened in the last 15 months, from revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, to renewed fears over economic default in Europe.
She notes that the changes have only reinforced the Obama Administration’s conviction for the need to seize the moment, to meet the challenges, and to lay the foundation for sustained global leadership.
She states that global partnerships which put aside individual philosophies and focus on solutions are essential to solving these global challenges and to building a more stable and secure world.
“As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said, and as the United States has long maintained, our foreign policy relationships will always be nation-to-nation. “ -Ms. Lewis
She stresses that building peer-to-peer relationships between state and local elected officials has a tremendous effect on foreign policy that often goes unrecognized.
“Still, building these relationships and encouraging this engagement at the subnational level has limitless potential.” -Ms. Lewis
She underlines that peer-to-peer relationships provide state and local leaders around the globe with an intimate glance into the American way of life, and more importantly, into its democratic institutions and system of governance.
She states that Secretary Clinton has made it a priority to engage subnational leaders and utilize them as an extraordinary source of innovation, talent, resources, and knowledge.
“At the Department of State, this has meant making a transition to 21st Century Statecraft and engaging all the elements of our national power and leveraging all forms of our strength.” -Ms. Lewis